President Theodore Roosevelt attempted to stop additional Japanese immigration to the U.S. and passed a law preventing the first generation of Japanese from becoming citizens and owning land. However, second generation children were automatically American citizens whose parents bought land under their names. By World War II, 112,000 Japanese lived on the West Coast and the bombing of Pearl Harbor hastened their internment. Prejudiced military and political leaders began convincing the public that the Japanese were a threat to national security, causing tensions and nationwide fear of them. Biased, exaggerated newspaper stories and pressure from special interest groups all led to President Franklin Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942. Though this order never included any name or races, it allowed authorities to remove Japanese Americans from the West Coast.
Youtube Documentary Clip about Executive Order 9066 by Carey McGleish.
"After Executive order 9066, posters order all Americans with Japanese ancestry out of their homes."
Photo by Dorothea Lange.
The Library of Congress, Dorothea Lange, ©1995.
"Headline in the San Francisco Examiner."
Yoshiko Uchida, Desert Exile, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, ©1982.